T1D- How fast do you heal?

Hi! I have had type 1 for 36 years, I was diagnosed as child. I am here in hope that I can find an answer to an odd question. I have a team of doctors, all of whom I have asked, so I am aware of the more common answers. But what I really want to know is if there are others like me. I have had several surgeries, 2 major eye surgeries (diabetes related), but the rest are mostly from the physical demands of a life of ranching. Hand and shoulder surgeries, multiple injections for crushed vertebrae, I’ve broken all but 4 ribs, you get the point! (Young people, seriously, be nice to your body!) When any of these things happen, scheduled or not, time off isn’t really doable, so I don’t get extra heal time by any means. Ever since I was very young, I heal at an oddly fast rate. So fast, that I even take pics of any open wounds, surgical or otherwise, to keep track of healing time. Over time, I have compared my injuries to healthy non diabetics, and I heal faster than them. I broke 8 ribs on one side and 4 more vertebrae a few months ago, and I was only down for 3 days. Truly. Docs have explained everything from genetics to circadian rhythm to how skin has memories and so on, but I don’t think that explains it. So please, if you read this and you are the same way, I’d love to hear your story. Textbooks say what we’ve all heard forever, that T1D people can’t heal fast blah blah blah, and I just don’t think one answer fits all of us. Thanks for reading and any helpful response!


Hi! Welcome to FUD. Others will chime in but I’ve never read anything that suggested we heal slow or, for that matter, fast. T1D is an autoimmune disease and some, maybe many, T1Ds, including me, report a good resistance to infection. That’s different but it can help healing; an infected wound is a bad thing.

Nevertheless I don’t think it’s that; modern medicine at least manages to deal with infections to physical injuries fairly well. I’ve had broken bones, most recently a collarbone fractured in three places. I healed ok, but pretty much along the lines suggested by the bone doctor. It took me years to completely heal from another shoulder fracture obtained when I was young and equally careless; that was because I didn’t do any physiotherapy for it.

I suspect a lot of the healing for these sorts of injuries is not in the bones sewing themselves back together but in dealing with the rest of the stuff our body does as protection for the injury. So the collarbone got treated with disrespect - I was moving and lifting stuff as soon as I felt safe, which was a week or so after the surgery inserting the titanium reinforcement.

But then again, we all have different abilities; T1Ds are often good at resisting infections, but having better systems to heal physical injuries and being a T1 doesn’t necessarily mean the two things are related.

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I heal pretty fast and I always have even before T1. That doesn’t always equate to healing right…Like when bones or cartilage are out of alignment or left rough when they heal.

Diabetics are known to have a problem with healing…but I think it’s mostly related to having higher BG levels which causes poor circulation issues. A significant problem with diabetics with high BG levels is the feet and toes. I know my podiatrist when I saw him was happy with my A1c as he said almost every day he removes a toe of a diabetic with poor BG control. That was astounding to me as we are only a county of 75,000 and we have a few podiatrists.


Hey! I’m sorry you got the other end of the stick. I would certainly pass you some healing time if I could! I appreciate your reply and I wish you the very best of luck!

Oof, I finally figured out how this site will allow me to reply! Thank you for your response and your toe stats are def going to stick in my head! Take care :slight_smile:


I heard the same through similar medical procedures. My guess is that high bgs, not just being diabetic is key.

I had several surgeries for trigger finger and carpel tunnel. PTs often commented that i was healing much faster than they expected. That was in late 80s, A1Cs 8-9, which was considered a safe goal.